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Bafana prepare to face Paraguay

Bafana prepare to face Paraguay

Bafana Bafana turn their attentions to Tuesday's Nelson Mandela Challenge with Paraguay after being held to a 1-1 draw with Nigeria in AFCON qualifying at the weekend.

The stalemate at the FNB Stadium left South Africa needing to avoid defeat against Libya in March next year to make it to the finals in Cameroon, as the Super Eagles booked their place.

Stuart Baxter's side had fought back from an own-goal down to draw the tie through Lebo Mothiba, but there was little time to dwell on the result though as Bafana jetted off from Johannesburg for Durban on Sunday morning. They face the South Americans at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

While Los Guaranies are a highly respected footballing nation, with seven World Cup appearances, and their best finish a quarter-final place in South Africa in 2010, Paraguay failed to qualify in 2014 and 2018, and have a record of just five wins and 14 losses in their last 19 games.

They come into this game on the back of a 4-2 friendly loss to Japan in June, after a 1-0 defeat to the United States in NMarch.

Former Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is hoping to turn things around though having taken up the reins in September - replacing interim coach Gustavo Morinigo. He took up the job in December 2017 when Francisco Arce stepped down after missing out on Russia 2018.

Osorio guided Mexico to the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup, and claimed the scalp of defending champions Germany in the group stage.

Baxter, meanwhile, is expected to make some changes form the side that played Nigeria with a number of fringe players likely to get game-time.

Ahead of the game, the manager said: "As far as the Paraguay game is concerned, it’s important that we’ve spoken about having a positive relationship with clubs.

"If I was a coach of one of those clubs, I wouldn’t want my players to play 90 minutes, I would expect the coach to have a bit of a feeling for South African football in general and say maybe this couple (of players) can play a half in one and a half in another, for example. We’ll approach [Tuesday’s game] with that in mind.”

Bafana will be hoping to make it four Nelson Mandela Challenges wins in a row, after seeing off Egypt 1-0 in 2016, Senegal 1-0 in 2015 and the Ivory Coast 2-0 in 2014.